CHANGE is on the way in Clermont, on a scale that is set to dwarf the small Central Highlands community to the north.
Close to $22,000 in funding from Rio Tinto Coal has been secured for the redevelopment of the Clermont Sports Ground into a brand-new state-of-the-art multi-sport training complex.
The five-year plan includes the construction of a new building with change rooms, an indoor training area and specially designed education training facility among other proposals.
Design plan layouts were unveiled in conjunction with the pre-season rugby union trial game between Clermont Bushpigs and Mackay City at the weekend.
The Bushpigs’ 16-3 loss was far from what the doctor ordered for the 2010 grand finalists, but was quickly negated by the prospect of top-line facilities soon to be on their doorstep.
“It’s going to be great for the club when it gets up and going,” incoming Clermont coach Josh Scott said.
Clermont’s Rugby for the Future committee president John Lund said the
development would benefit not just the rugby code, but the entire sporting framework including rugby league, cricket, athletics, tennis, netball and touch football who already call the ground home.
“As our club shows no sign of slowing, we wanted to ensure that its growth would be supported by a first-class, high-quality and versatile sporting ground,” Lund said in a statement earlier this week.
Additional funding will be sought from government and corporate bodies to support the project with club members also pledging their time in assisting with the construction work.
One man who may not be helping out as much as he would have liked is Bushpigs coach, Josh Scott, who is still recovering from a dislocated knee suffered during the Waitangi Day match-up in Emerald earlier this year.
He said while there are still definite flaws in the team to iron out, the Mackay trial laid a good platform for this weekend’s Rolleston 10s and the Central Highlands rugby season.
“We had an awesome first half, but then started to doze off and spent 10 minutes camped on our own goal-line,” Scott said.
“I think we’ve got all the handling errors out of the way now, so hopefully we will go all right.”
In a fitting turn of coincidence, the Bushpigs, much like their home ground, are also experiencing a changing of the guard.
From last year’s playing ranks just two players remain with a solid, new pack set to reignite the Bushpigs’ prospects.
Of particular note is new rugby recruit and Bushpigs captain Scott Wilkinson and 17-year-old Clermont second rower Dylan Breckon who claimed last weekend’s Players’ Player scalp.
“He’s only a wiry little bloke, but shows a lot of heart,” coach Scott said of young Breckon.
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